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Who is Allowed to Start Insurance Self Network platform?

An ISNP is the evidence that the government has started to believe in e-commerce for insurance services. However, who is allowed to establish this platform? This article discusses this topic so that you can get ready when time comes to provide insurance policies online.

E-Commerce for legal services is not a novel concept. However, citing security reasons, the government has always been apprehensive about it. Only after witnessing tangible proof of the growth these services represent, the government started formulating regulations to bring electronic commerce into the legal fold. In the insurance domain, the result was Insurance Self Network Platform.

Insurance Self Network platform is a website that allows the insurers, insurance intermediaries, corporate agencies and authorized individuals to solicit insurance policies and services. Governed as per the IRDA Insurance E-Commerce regulations, it’s an insurance entity that one can only start if they already are stakeholders in the insurance domain.

Categories of Insurance Stakeholders allowed to start an ISNP

You can divide the entities having the permission to start an Insurance Self Network Platform into three categories:

  1. Insurance Intermediaries: Insurance Intermediaries are entities that act as the middleman between the insurance and the insured.
  2. Insurers: Insurers are insurance companies – NBFCs with the authorization to provide formulate insurance policies and sell them as per IRDA guidelines.
  3. Corporate agencies: They represent insurance companies – acting as their agents to solicit and procure insurance policies.

Insurance Intermediaries with the permission to start E-Commerce for Insurance policies

Intermediaries of insurance policies acts on the behalf of clients and guide them to  the insurance policies that they need. Within IRDA, three types of entities have the authorization to act as insurance arbiters:

  1. Insurance Brokers: Insurance brokers are the most conventional insurance negotiators. Acting as the conciliators, they bridge the communication gap that exist between insurers and the insured. When they start an ISNP, insurance guidelines dictate that they post only the products of companies they have agreements with. Related article: Insurance Broker License
  2. Insurance web aggregators: Web aggregators are entities that have no prior relations to the insurance domain. Instead, they operate a platform whose task you can divide into three parts:
    1. On-boarding insurance companies and present them to customers as if they are products.
    2. Providing a comparison tool using which the customers can sort out of the policy as per their requirement, and
    3. Facilitating customers with the option to buy those policies.

Web Aggregation portal can integrate insurance self network platform to provide other online services.

  1. Insurance Marketing Firm: It is an insurance entity with the widest scope. It provides policies, services, and marketing services that at times go beyond the insurance domain. Due to the regulatory powers of an IMF, IRDA has also allowed it to start Insurance Self Network platform.

Insurers with ISNP rights

Insurance Companies can also obtain permission to start Insurance Self network platform. However, because of the IRDA regulations, they can’t post insurance products on the websites. Instead, they must put links of the insurance intermediaries that they are in touch with. It then transfer the customers to the insurance policies that these insurance intermediaries represent.

It’s quite complicated for an insurer to operate an ISNP. However, IRDA has established it so to maintain the regulatory aspects of the industry.

Read More: How to get BEE certification for a Heater?

Corporate Agents with Insurance Self Network Platform

Agencies that represent insurance companies can establish this online platform and present their policies.  Users can come to the website, select the insurance company for their policy needs. The Portal then transfers them to the page with products belonging to that company.


Through ISNP, IRDA has tried to regularize insurance services online. By giving insurance intermediaries and corporate agencies the right to establish a Self Network Platform, it has opened room for complete digitization of insurance policies.

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